United States
Fact Checked

What Is the Bruce Museum?

M.C. Huguelet
M.C. Huguelet

The Bruce Museum is a museum of art, history, and natural history based in the city of Greenwich in the US state of Connecticut. It opened in 1912, after wealthy businessman Robert Moffat Bruce donated his home to the town of Greenwich. As of 2011, the Bruce Museum has around 15,000 items in its permanent collection. The museum also regularly features temporary art, history, and natural history exhibitions. In addition to exploring the galleries of the Bruce Museum, visitors can also browse its gift shop, and at certain times may be able to participate in educational programs or attend lectures.

Wealthy businessman Robert Moffat Bruce set the stage for the establishment of the Bruce Museum in 1908, when he donated his Greenwich home to the town on the condition that it be used as a museum of art, history, and natural history. In 1912, a group of local painters began using the building as a meeting space, and in the same year this group mounted an art exhibition in the building, thereby officially launching it as a museum. From this time onward, the museum began acquiring pieces which fit the categories stipulated by Bruce, and as of 2011, its permanent collection contains around 15,000 pieces.

The Bruce Museum includes many Native American crafts.
The Bruce Museum includes many Native American crafts.

Among the strengths of the permanent collection of the Bruce Museum are a number of paintings by the group of American Impressionists known as the Cos Cob School. The museum also features a number of natural history items like minerals and fossils. Additionally, it contains historical items like 19th century women’s attire and Native American crafts.

In addition to its rotating exhibitions of items from its permanent collection, the Bruce Museum usually also features one or more exhibitions of items from outside its collection. For instance, the museum has hosted an exhibition of paintings by Andy Warhol as well as an exhibition of 20th-century toys. Such exhibitions may be co-sponsored by another museum, financed by exhibition funds, or even assembled from works that have been loaned to the museum by members of the community.

While the primary objective of a trip to the Bruce Museum may be taking in the permanent and temporary exhibitions on display in its galleries, there are a few other activities that visitors can partake in. For example, they can browse for souvenirs in the gift shop. Depending on the museum’s schedule, they may also be able to take a guided tour, participate in an educational workshop, or attend a lecture.

You might also Like

Discussion Comments


@NathanG - It seems like the Bruce museum is quite diverse in its collections. Fifteen thousand pieces is a large collection and I imagine that you could spend all week there if you wanted to.

I don’t think I’ll be able to make the trip out to Connecticut anytime soon, but like you, I do enjoy visiting museums. I’ve been to the Salvador Dali art museum down in Florida, in addition to a few historical museums in our area that featured Native American art.

I think we’ve become so rushed as a society, with all our media and constant communications, that we’ve lost the simple pleasures of visiting museums and just stopping to look and appreciate a painting.


Andy Warhol is the painter who once mused that everyone would be famous for fifteen minutes, the “fifteen minutes of fame” that everyone now talks about in our relentless cable media driven news cycle.

I’ve never seen Warhol’s paintings in person but have seen them online and in television shows featuring his work. His paintings were very psychedelic pop art, and quite reflective of our modern culture in my opinion.

I would have loved to have seen the paintings in an exhibit at the Bruce museum. Somehow seeing a painting in a museum gives you a level of appreciation that you simply can’t get from online viewing. The computer screen simply doesn’t do these works of art justice.

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • The Bruce Museum includes many Native American crafts.
      By: namwar69
      The Bruce Museum includes many Native American crafts.